I have successfully grown garlic crops using supermarket bulbs for years. But the plants started last September suffered horrendous rust. The plants looked fantastic through the winter but in the Spring the rust spread until the leaves were completely orange. Surprisingly the bulbs, though smaller than usual, are still a usable size. I always assumed that rust is just a unavoidable minor ailment of garlic & leeks as I do see a bit every year. Is it really worse if the cloves come from a bulb carrying the spores or is the fungus just floating around waiting for an allium leaf to land on & the right climatic conditions to thrive? We had a good dry growing season here in the U.K., I always assumed fungi prefer damp (but this may not be true of rust). We did have an exceptionally mild winter which is probably why the garlic looked so good at first, maybe this favoured the development of rust? One grower at my allotment site had all his autumn planted shallots & onions bolt, is this also an effect of a mild winter? I will probably just plant supermarket garlic again & see how it does. Seed merchants charge a fortune for bulbs!
Post by philagardener on Aug 24, 2014 13:08:32 GMT -5
It seems like garlic rust is spreading rampantly. I don't know how big a problem it is in the UK, but apparently many commercial growers in the US are having issues. Even "reliable" sources can be a problem, as you read earlier in this thread.
Unfortunately, allowing an infection to persist and shed spores only adds to the burden floating around.
I guess a regime which minimizes spread of fungus like rust & white rot is just good housekeeping. Especially at a site like mine where there are many growers. I have read that a minced garlic in water spread over the ground can trick white rot scleroti into growth when here are not actually any allium roots to grow on, thus cleaning the ground. Maybe I should do this & pay for disease free garlic also!